Retailers and entrepreneurs together provide 55% of all sales of fresh fruits and vegetables on the Ukrainian market. Unorganized trade accounts for the rest, EastFruit reports. Thus, about half of the trade in fruits and vegetables in the country, or 35 billion UAH every year are not reflected in any trade statistics. They go through uncontrolled markets, that means direct competitors of the retail business.
This data from the first study of retail trade in fresh fruit and vegetables was announced by Andriy Pankratov, analyst of agricultural markets, international consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), during the First International Retail Forum. It was held within the framework of #FTrade Club 2021 in Kyiv in early December 2021. According to the FAO study, retail chains account for only about 40% of all trade in fresh vegetables and fruits.
The share of self-sufficiency of households in fruit and vegetables is falling and this is a positive sign for professional market players.
As Andriy Pankratov noted in his presentation, only retail allows converting the efforts and expenses of a farmer into money. And it is the retail trade in vegetables and fruits that shapes the trends influencing the business of farmers. This is why the FAO team has always paid so much attention to this: it audits the produce departments of supermarkets, monitors industry news and analyzes retail statistics. FAO experts identified several key features of the Ukrainian market in the study of fruit and vegetable retail of Ukraine.
Firstly, people grow themselves about a third of the fresh vegetables and fruits consumed in Ukraine This was concluded by analyzing the data of a household survey by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. In monetary terms, this is about 54 billion UAH per year. This amount represents the growth potential of retail trade in fruits and vegetables in Ukraine, not taking into account the possible increase in the level of income of the population.
Although the share of self-sufficiency in vegetables and fruits of Ukrainian households is declining, it remains quite high. According to Andriy Pankratov, to use this potential, retailers should offer such products and in such a way that consumers do not have the need or desire to grow them.
Another important feature is the fact that uncontrolled trade in fresh fruits and vegetables accounts for about half of all retail sales. These are cash sales in markets, which are not reflected in any statistics. As a rule, the whole process, from the purchase of materials and equipment for production, to wholesale and retail sales, is done in cash.
This “cash” segment of the fruit and vegetable trade also continues to decline. It was in 2020 that it dropped below 50% for the first time and amounted to 45%. About 55% of sales, respectively, were provided by retailers and entrepreneurs under the common and simplified taxation system.
The potential for the development of retail trade in fruit and vegetables is still huge.
Moreover, another phenomenon has recently appeared – online trade in fresh fruits, vegetables, berries and herbs. The online sales segment is now developing much faster than traditional supermarkets.
The 2021 Retail Forum gathered more than 200 leading representatives of the Ukrainian fruit and vegetable trade. The event was organized by the project “APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruits” with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Information partners of the event are the EastFruit International Analytical Platform and the Ukrainian Horticultural Association (UHA).
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